Up to 10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes. Even if you have no signs of diabetes, you can develop this common pregnancy complication. At Perinatal Diagnostic Center & Women's Ultrasound, in Thousand Oaks, Mission Hills, West Hills, and Ventura, California, Daryoush Jadali, MD, and the team diagnose and treat gestational diabetes to help you have a safe and healthy pregnancy. Call to schedule an appointment today.
Gestational diabetes is a specific type of insulin resistance that sometimes develops during the second trimester of pregnancy. When your body doesn’t use insulin correctly, you don’t convert glucose into energy efficiently, and this can lead to high blood sugar levels and health risks for you and your baby.
Gestational diabetes doesn’t usually cause any noticeable symptoms. Frequently, you only find out after a glucose test in your second trimester.
In most cases, gestational diabetes is controllable with frequent monitoring and lifestyle adjustments. Also, your blood sugar should return to normal after your baby is born.
When you’re pregnant, the placenta produces many hormones, and almost all of them affect the action of insulin in your cells. Doctors and medical researchers don’t know precisely why some women develop gestational diabetes while others don’t. However, some common risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
Gestational diabetes is also more common in women of color than Caucasian women.
Around your 24th week of pregnancy, you have a glucose challenge test. During the glucose test, you drink a syrupy glucose-rich drink. An hour later, a member of the team at Perinatal Diagnostic Center and Ultrasound draws blood and tests your blood sugar level to see how efficiently your body is processing glucose. A high blood sugar level indicates a risk of gestational diabetes, and you have additional testing.
During your follow-up glucose testing, you fast overnight and have your blood sugar levels tested first thing in the morning. Then you drink the glucose-rich drink, and the team at Perinatal Diagnostic Center and Ultrasound checks your blood every hour for three hours. If your blood sugar readings are high for two of the three checks, your doctor diagnoses gestational diabetes.
Dr. Jadali provides diabetic education and counseling to help you protect your health. You learn to monitor your blood sugar levels daily with at-home finger prick tests. Dr. Jadali also helps you adjust your diet and exercise habits to control your glucose levels. For example, taking a brief walk after you eat helps your body use insulin more efficiently.
If you’re concerned about gestational diabetes, call Perinatal Diagnostic Center and Ultrasound to make an appointment today.